Our gun-happy General Assembly

Instead of jobs, we get dangerous toys:

The state House voted 77-41 Tuesday to allow people to carry concealed weapons in public parks and greenways across North Carolina and in restaurants where alcohol is served.

Other proposals include House Bill 227, which loosens restrictions on buying handguns in other states; House Bill 63, which allows employees to lock guns inside their cars at work; and House Bill 390, which would do away with the requirement for a local permit to purchase a pistol.

And coming soon: HB 357, titled "A Bill To Restore The Practice Of Dueling To Settle Disputes".

Republicans propose new health care tax on families and small businesses

This morning legislators made the bad Blue Cross bill to create a new health insurance marketplace in the state even worse. As is now common practice at the legislature, Republicans introduced a 16 page amendment to the health exchange bill without making the changes available for public scrutiny before the meeting. Although insurance companies and others were privy to the committee substitute, no consumer group knew of the proposed alterations.

"Sign ze paper, old man."

Binker gets the bum's rush out of a committee hearing:

At that point, the cop hauled me out of the room. He was nice about it and didn't really seem to want to do what he was being asked to. Because he’s kind of low down on the food chain, I don’t blame him for not knowing the finer points of public meetings laws.

The Sergeant at Arms staff should know better.

Sorry about the Cheech y Chong reference in the title, but I couldn't help myself.

Liberty not that important to NC GOP

Protecting a DA's right to wrongly convict:

Opponents say House Bill 408, which was introduced into the General Assembly last week, would make it harder for suspects to see evidence that could help prove they are innocent.

Here's another Republican bill that should have Libertarians and Tea Party activists marching the streets in outrage. If they hold to the principles to which they lay claim, that is. If you need more to mull over, here are your rights that will be struck out:

Dan Besse on Facebook: Bad news, good news, crazy news

I usually steer clear of reposting stuff from Facebook, especially from people who have accounts at BlueNC. I figure they know how to copy and paste, and if they wanted people here to get their news, they'd post it here. That said, Besse sums up this situation nicely today.

Bad news: NC's jobless rate is still near 10% and we're short on dollars to modernize our transportation system. Good news: We've won a federal grant of over $500 million to modernize rail tracks and crossings on our most heavily used state rail lines--creating 5,000 construction jobs. Crazy news: A dozen NC House Republicans have a bill being heard today which would force the state to turn down the grant.

More GOP erosion of rules and regulations

Here is a draft of a piece of legislation likely to emerge soon, to be titled "An Act To Promote Job Growth Through Regulatory Reform".

The draft is supposedly "not ready for introduction", but since the (so far only) sponsor and I'm assuming author, the intrepid Glen Bradley, just Tweeted a link to it, which was reTweeted by the House GOP, I guess it's ready to be introduced to Twits and bloggers and such. Which is cool with me, since so many other bills have been published like 15 seconds before votes are taken. Here are a few of the problems I've detected so far:

Bothwell to run as Independent against Shuler

There's more than one way to sack the quarterback:

ASHEVILLE — Councilman Cecil Bothwell is mounting a challenge to Rep. Heath Shuler for the 11th Congressional District. Bothwell will run as an independent in 2012, facing Shuler and an as-yet-unknown Republican nominee.

Hopefully Cecil will still actually be in the 11th District after it's redrawn.

Another thrilling review for Jesus Swept

I was so glad to have found this book. The irreverent and smart-ass characters are reminiscent of those found in Larry McMurtry's works. The religious word-play is hysterically funny and I'll be looking for opportunities to use some in my own conversations! Since I only paid $0.99 for this on Kindle it was the deal of the year for me but if I'd had to buy a paper copy it would have been well worth the price! I'll also be eagerly awaiting the next book from this author and hope it's soon.

I especially love that I have no idea who wrote this. S/he read the whole think in one day! Wow.

Teachers boycotting Art Pope's businesses. You can too.



Let's hope it sticks. And spreads.

The largest association of educators in the state is calling for a boycott of all businesses owned by Art Pope, a North Carolina business man and political insider who has contributed millions of dollars to conservative groups pressing for the elimination of caps on charter school funding. The decision to call for the boycott was made last week at the annual convention of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

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